How's your week going? I hope the answer is "wonderfully!"
But if it's not so hot, I understand that too.
Sometimes it can seem like the days get more challenging
all the time. Feel free to let your hair down
here and be honest.
And thank you so much for that many prayers that
you have offered up on my behalf and the many
prayer lists that you have put me on at your churches,
My physical therapist assures me that my hand
is progressing well, however things will tighten
up in the next few days as the tissues surrounding
my four new joints "grab on." Evidently,
if you have had joint replacement, you understand
I am hitting the next level, where I will feel
I am moving backwards, and yet it's a good thing
because the healing is progressing.
Being unable to do daily tasks or drive as I
wear my splint 24 hours a day for the next five
weeks is of course frustrating; and I found out
yesterday that I won't be able to drive for some
time even after the split is removed. I am taking
one day at a time.
Someone sent the story below to me earlier this
week and it literally gave me goosebumps . . .
and then a few tears at the end. I hope that it
touches your day today too. Life is short. . .
and oh, so precious.
The Cab Ride
I arrived at the address and honked the horn.
After waiting a few minutes I walked to the door
and knocked.. 'Just a minute', answered a frail,
elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged
across the floor.
After a long pause, the door opened. A small
woman in her 90's stood before me. She was wearing
a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned
on it, like somebody out of a 1940's movie. By
her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment
looked as if no one had lived in it for years.
All the furniture was covered with sheets.
There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks
or utensils on the counters. In the corner was
a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.
'Would you carry my bag out to the car?' she
said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned
to assist the woman. She took my arm and we walked
slowly toward the curb.
She kept thanking me for my kindness. 'It's nothing',
I told her. 'I just try to treat my passengers
the way I would want my mother treated'.
'Oh, you're such a good boy', she said. When
we got in the cab, she gave me an address and
then asked, 'Could you drive through downtown?'
'It's not the shortest way,' I answered quickly.
'Oh, I don't mind,' she said. 'I'm in no hurry.
I'm on my way to a hospice'.
I looked in the rear-view mirror. Her eyes were
glistening. 'I don't have any family left,' she
continued in a soft voice. 'The doctor says I
don't have very long.' I quietly reached over
and shut off the meter.
'What route would you like me to take?' I asked.
For the next two hours, we drove through the
city. She showed me the building where she had
once worked as an elevator operator.
We drove through the neighborhood where she and
her husband had lived when they were newlyweds
She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse
that had once been a ballroom where she had gone
dancing as a girl. Sometimes she'd ask me to slow
in front of a particular building or corner and
would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.
As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon,
she suddenly said, 'I'm tired. Let's go now'.
We drove in silence to the address she had given
me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent
home, with a driveway that passed under a portico.
Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as
we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent,
watching her every move. They must have been expecting
I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase
to the door. The woman was already seated in a
'How much do I owe you?' she asked, reaching
into her purse. 'Nothing,' I said
'You have to make a living,' she answered. 'There
are other passengers,' I responded.
Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her
a hug. She held onto me tightly.
'You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,'
I squeezed her hand, and then walked into the
dim morning light. Behind me, a door shut. It
was the sound of the closing of a life.
I didn't pick up any more passengers that shift.
I drove aimlessly lost in thought. For the rest
of that day, I could hardly talk. What if that
woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was
impatient to end his shift?
What if I had refused to take the run, or had
honked once, then driven away?
On a quick review, I don't think that I have
done anything more important in my life. We're
conditioned to think that our lives revolve around
great moments. But great moments often catch us
unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may
consider a small one.
Here's a tip that is easy to give. . . but harder
to follow - I know! But here it is anyway (I always
learn so much from all of you!)
Don't let guilt get the best of you!
It's easy to feel guilty for soooo-o-o many things
when you are chronically ill, isn't it? We feel
guilty about the little things, like not doing
the dishes; as well as the big ones, like not
being able to attend a special event of a loved
one. We feel guilty for asking for help (especially
for the umpteenth time) and we feel guilty we
aren't able to do more for those we love and reciprocate
No matter how much we do, it never seems to be
enough. And ironically, when we are having a decent
day without a lot of pain, we can even feel guilty
among our chronically ill friends that we had
a reprieve. Or maybe you "got caught"
by your child's teacher playing at the park when
you said you couldn't help out with the class
party just yesterday.
Palastsky, author of "Think
it Not Strange" (available in our bookstore,
www.comfortzonebooks.com) did a podcast on my
Hope Endures Radio program talking about this
very topic. You can listen here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/HopeEndures/blog/2009/03
You can also read an article I wrote called,
"Do I Have to
Feel Guilty When I Feel Okay?"
Thank you for trusting us enough to share this
journey of chronic illness with us and those you
may meet at Rest Ministries. We are so blessed
that you comfort everyone with the comfort you
have found through the Lord.
Remember scripture tells us, "The sharing
of your faith becomes effective by telling others
of every good thing which is in you in Christ
Jesus." Philemon 6
Lisa Copen, Rest Ministries Founder
Rest Ministries Chronic Illness Pain Support